Do you ever feel like all of your muscles are so tense that if one more thing gets added onto your plate you will snap? Or feel so much frustration and anxiety that you wonder if people will start seeing smoke come out of your ears? Let’s face it…we live in a very fast-paced, go-go-go world. It feels sometimes like we’re stuck on a rollercoaster ride that we can’t get off of. When we have times of intense stress, it is so important to find ways to decompress. Walking is a great stress reliever that doesn’t take any special equipment and can be done anywhere.

Benefits of Walking

  • Exercise, like walking, reduces the body’s stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline and boosts feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are our body’s natural pain killers and mood lifters. Therefore, a boost in endorphins boosts our energy and mood and can even boost confidence. This in turn can alleviate mild depression and/or anxiety.
  • Walking can clear your head and put your brain into a calmer, more relaxed state. Have a difficult problem you need to solve or challenge you are facing? Taking a 15-minute break to get outside and walk can do wonders to clear your head and help you think more clearly. If you have a deadline at work and get stuck on something, try going for a walk with a co-worker on a break and bouncing ideas off of each other. Or if it’s a problem at home, grab a friend and a coffee and discuss it with them as you take a stroll in your neighborhood or park.
  • Spending time in nature is a great stress reliever. There is something about movement outdoors that does wonders for body & soul. Turn your phone off and be fully in the moment, aware of your surroundings and feel the sunshine or breeze on your face. Doing this can increase your energy and even improve your memory.
  • Increases social engagement if you walk with a buddy. We all know how difficult it can be to stay connected with friends, especially for those with kids or busy careers, or both. Try to connect once a week with a friend and go for a walk instead of sitting in a coffee shop or seeing a movie. There is something about walking and being outdoors with a friend that helps us build social connections and maybe even helps us open up more than we would in another setting.
  • Regular walking reduces fatigue. If you’re feeling very tired, try going for short, slow walks every day and gradually increasing the time. Add another 5 minutes each day until you’re up to 20-30 minutes a day. The combination of fresh air and movement boosts mood and energy.
  • Deepen your spirituality through walking. Spending time walking solo outdoors is a great time to think deep, spiritual thoughts and reflect. It is also a great way to spend time in prayer, as your head will be clearer and you’ll be away from distractions if you’re walking in a peaceful place. I find that I feel closer to God when I’m in nature. Give thanks for the beauty you see around you and take time to really appreciate all the wonderful things you see.

Walking Solo or With Others

There are many benefits of walking solo, as you can spend time being one with nature, sorting your thoughts and go at your own pace. However, there are many benefits to walking with others as well.

Walking with a friend or group of friends is a great way to bond and strengthen social ties. If you have a lot on your mind, being with friends who make you laugh is a great stress reliever and takes your mind off of your problems for a while. Or, if you need to vent, walking with a friend who is a great listener can help take the weight off your shoulders and feel relief on top of getting exercise.

Walk with your kids or grandkids. Similar to walking with a friend, walking with little ones can be very rewarding. Kids love nature and exploring outdoors. Being outside brings out another side of a child that you wouldn’t see if they were inside watching television or playing video games. Enjoy nature through the eyes of a child. It’s like seeing everything for the first time again. The world is filled with so much wonder and beauty. Sometimes it takes spending time outside with a child to truly appreciate it.

Some people find strenuous exercise difficult, especially those who may have health issues that prevent them from intense cardio workouts. However, walking is just as beneficial as some other forms of exercise if you’re committed to it. Whether you are a brisk walker or just starting out and taking it slow and steady, walking has so many benefits. Try to go for 20-30 minute walks 3-5 times a week. If you commit to this, it won’t be long until you start to feel the improvements in your energy levels and mood. So pull out those walking shoes and get outside today!


18 Comments

Cathy Allen · November 24, 2019 at 2:43 am

Hello there! I fully agree with your ideas and beliefs about the joys and benefits of walking. I only recently started walking regularly on the treadmill. It’s too cold to walk outside now, and when it’s warm I don’t like the bugs. If not for the bugs, the most wonderful places on earth are the woods and forests. Thank you for highlighting the pleasure and gains of walking.

    Carla · November 24, 2019 at 9:22 pm

    That’s great that you got a treadmill!  I’ve often thought of doing that too.  Where we live it gets very cold and icy in winter.  Good for you to work around the cold and find a way to keep going.

Rodarrick · November 24, 2019 at 2:43 am

Taking a simple walk can really make the difference when it comes to our health and I’m thankful that you have shared this with us. Well! I personally prefer to always take a walk to explore various places and to appreciate nature whenever I feel down. Hence, walking has become a means of stress relieve for me. This is really good and great. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Carla · November 24, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!  I am the same…I love to explore nature through walking.  Such an uplift to our spirits.

KingAndrea · November 24, 2019 at 2:45 am

This is one fact people most people don’t seem to understand and it’s really bad, walking has been confirmed to be a very effective means of relieving stress for both young and adults. Thanks for sharing this information, the one question on my mind right not Is that, for the disabled, majorly crippled, is there any other related exercise they can in to bring about this benefits walking gives?

    Carla · November 24, 2019 at 9:17 pm

    Thanks for your comment!  I would say for disabled, even just being outdoors has it’s own benefits.  It all depends on the disability, but there are many exercise programs out there for different ability types.  Hope that is somewhat helpful!

Stephanie · November 24, 2019 at 2:46 am

I haven’t walked long distances since moving out of the city, but back then I used to go on daily walks around the neighbor. I have social anxiety so it’s trakly hard for me to actually go out with people, much less to exercise. But, isn’t it best if you go on your walks with a friend? Living in today’s society is scary going out all on your own. 

    Carla · November 24, 2019 at 9:13 pm

    Yes, that is a good point.  Safety is so important.  If you are walking on your own, go in daylight hours and in places where there are other people.  With social anxiety, it’s best to do things in smaller groups, so if you had one or two close friends you feel comfortable with, that would be a great way to start. 

Bella · November 24, 2019 at 2:47 am

Thank you so much for sharing this all important posy here. Though most people often underrated walking as a means of exercising the body but for a few people like us who fancy it, we take it more seriously because we know the benefits attached to it. As a matter of fact, a lot goes into walking that most people fail to realise or give cognizance too. Thank you. So thoughtful of you to share

    Carla · November 24, 2019 at 9:05 pm

    I’m glad you enjoyed the post!  Yes, many people think that walking isn’t as beneficial as running, or something more intense, but it really is and is easier on the joints.  Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Joy gateru · November 24, 2019 at 2:49 am

Wow! What a great article, I never thought walking had all this great results in our body, like reducing the body stress hormones, then I think having a walk can be a remedy to some stress, I also agree that taking a walk and exploring the nature is a great stress reliever, personally I think that taking a solo walk can be better when you want to sort out some personal thoughts that are running across your mind, while walking with a group or friend can be the best way to increase socialism as you walk while sharing idea along. Thank you for sharing such a wonderful article to the public.i believe it will be of great impact to many.

Thank you.

    Carla · November 24, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    Thanks for reading and for your kind words!  All the best to you!

Wildecoll · November 24, 2019 at 2:49 am

I was so surprised to hear my grandma say walking was one of the things that kept her so healthy till her age, I was actually very young when she said that, I think I was about 12 then. Growing up and expanding my knowledge, I got to understand what she meant by that statement and you’ve also explained better. For someone who suffers from narcissistic effect, which would you recommend for such a person, solo walking or walking with friends? Thanks

    Carla · November 24, 2019 at 9:02 pm

    Thanks for the comment.  Your grandma sounds wise.  Walking is so good for your health.  I would suggest to start with solo walking, but then ask a friend or partner if they would like to join you and see which you prefer.  All the best in your journey to good health!  Take it one step at a time.

Aysha Amina · November 24, 2019 at 2:51 am

Your article helps me to think about walking. With a friend, walking and enjoying time is so beneficial and interesting. It’s refreshing and enjoyable. I love to talk with a loving and favourite person to spend time. When passes time can’t count. It helps to take more time to walk. Watching TV inside the room is not a good practice for our health. You are intelligent and helping you to the people for using their time with joy.

    Carla · November 24, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Thank you so much for your comment!  Glad to hear you enjoyed the article.  Enjoy your walks!

Adam · February 12, 2020 at 3:32 am

Hi Carla! I absolutely love the fact that you wrote this post! As someone struggling with both anxiety and depressive tendencies from time to time, I always tell people that the best therapy I know of, by far, is just walking. I love walks. It’s a great way to get outside and (hopefully) enjoy some fresh air and healthy exposure to light (good for circadian rhythm).

Now that I have a family, I try to go on walks with my wife and our baby as often as possible. And when the toddler is not in preschool, we like to all go together to the forest (it’s just down the street). We love it.

    Carla · February 12, 2020 at 10:39 am

    That’s great that you’re making walks outdoors a family affair. My girls love going for walks, so we try to get out as much as possible. That’s great that you live close to a forest. Must be beautiful for walks. It is such a great stress reliever!

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